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LinkedIn gets blocked in Russia over violating a law on data storage


Professional social networking site Linkedin gets officially blocked in Russia. The country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor announced that it has legally prohibited access to the world’s largest professional network, as it was found violating a personal data storage laws in the country.

“Based on the court’s ruling that entered into force, the LinkedIn social network has been included in the registry of those violating the rights of personal data owners and is to be blocked by telecommunications operators,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

According to reports, Russia has banned access to the site after the social network did not transfer user data to servers in Russia, which is  a mandatory requirement for all websites operating in the country who are required to store user data on the country’s servers. Moreover, LinkedIn’s appeal against the ruling that it did not violate any law on personal data on Russia users was also rejected by a Moscow city court.

“We are starting to hear from members in Russia that they can no longer access LinkedIn. Roskomnadzor’s action to block LinkedIn denies access to the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses. We remain interested in a meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss their data localization request”, said LinkedIn in statement to TechCrunch.

Russian authorities reportedly warned the social network twice to relocate personal data on Russian users to the country’s servers, but the company did not respond. The company says that it’s the responsibility of LinkedIn Ireland to relocate personal user data outside of the U.S, instead of LinkedIn Corporation. However, Russia’s IT watchdog stayed adamant that LinkedIn Corporation was the domain name administrator, hence its their job to keep a tab on all information and services offered by professional social network.

The world’s largest professional social network had another stint with regulatory authorities back in 2013, when a class action lawsuit was filed against the company. The social network was accused of automatically sending invitations to contacts in a user’s email address book without their consent. The company then settled the lawsuit in 2015 for a whopping $13 million.

Microsoft is currently trying to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, although the deal is yet to be finalized. LinkedIn’s professional social networking service was founded back in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, and went live in 2003.

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